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Alvin Lucier: Islands (1998) performed at Other Minds 5, 1999

Published March 25, 1999

The Other Minds Ensemble perform Alvin Lucier's composition Island (1998) at the Other Minds Music Festival in 1999 at Cowell Theater in San Francisco.

The Other Minds Ensemble

George Brooks, soprano saxophone
Larry London, clarinet
Robin May, English horn
Susan Radcliff, trumpet
Toyoji Tomita, trombone

The presentation of this work was made possible with the support of Stephen Weaver.

Islands, for wind instruments and amplified snare drums, is the latest in a series of works by Alvin Lucier that explore the spatial characteristics of sound waves in enclosed spaces. In Directions of Sounds from the Bridge (1978), flashlights deployed around a cello are activated by sounds which flow out of the instrument in different directions for different frequencies; in Self-Portrait (1989) air flow from the lip of a flute causes the blades of a wind anemometer to spin at various speeds. In Islands sound waves from five wind instruments cause a collection of snare drums, scattered throughout the room, to resonate and sound. As the sounds from the instruments flow out into the space, the drums react singly and in combinations, determined by pitch, loudness, directivity of the wave-flow and the architecture of the room.

Islands, completed in November of 1998, was written for the United Berlin Ensemble and is dedicated to Christian Wolff. It was first performed on February 2nd, 1999, at the Schauspielhaus, Berlin, on the "Woher-wohin? Komponieren heute" series.
- Alvin Lucier

Source Other Minds
Run time 00:15:22
Label / Recorded by Other Minds


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